Lake Quinault Lodge Lakeside View

One Perfect Weekend at Lake Quinault Lodge

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Calling the overworked, overstressed or those who just need some time to get away! Step back in time by visiting this grand and rustic lodge, echoing vintage woodland vibes from the 1920s. This historic lodge overlooks the shores of Lake Quinault, with an exquisite masonry fireplace as the central focus of the lobby. The 91 guestrooms have a decidedly antique feel with charming fixtures, earning them a spot among the best Olympic National Park lodging. 

And if the scenery wasn’t enough to take you back in time, this weekend can offer an additional experience: a digital technology detox. Select rooms have refrigerators, the rooms are heated with steam-heated radiators. While WIFI is available, the rural location makes it slow enough to want to put down your phone, take a deep breath, and relax. 

So if you’re ready for a nature-filled, screen-free weekend, here’s our perfect weekend at Lake Quinault Lodge

Lake activities range from canoeing, kayaking, boat tours, paddle boarding, and fishing.

Plan Your Trip:

In order to follow this itinerary, prior to leaving you’ll need to:

  • Book your stay at Lake Quinault Lodge
  • Reserve your Sunset Lake Tour — via tour boat (Adult $35, Children $25) 
  • Reserve tickets to Lake Quinault Rainforest Tour (Adults $42, Children $22)
  • Make arrangements with the front desk for local fishing guide services (offering tribal and non-tribal guides).
  • If you don’t want to fish, plan to rent a kayak or a canoe. ($25 – $45)

Lake Quinault at sunset.

Friday Afternoon/Evening: 

Located just about 3 hours from both Seattle and Portland,  Lake Quinault offers the perfect weekend getaway. But in order to arrive in time for a Friday night decompression, you’ll have to leave Seattle or Portland mid-day for a 4 pm arrival. If you can’t leave work before 1 pm, simply get dinner on the road, check-in at the hotel when you arrive, take a hot bath, and join the itinerary on Saturday morning. 

Approx. 4 pm arrival: Check into the hotel, bring your bags to your room and take an hour or so to wash up, unpack and rest. When you check-in (or prior to your arrival) be sure to make reservations for your Sunset Lake Tour.

Around 5 pm, dinner in the Roosevelt Dining Room: Time to grab an early dinner! We suggest taking it easy and grabbing dinner at the Roosevelt Dining Room where you can enjoy King Salmon or Roosevelt’s Classic Pot Roast., just like the former present enjoyed it in 1926. Bonus tip: ask for a table near one of the hummingbird feeders in the window. These little birds will offer great entertainment while you enjoy your meal!

Around 6:45 pm, head to Lake Quinault Lodge Deck for your Sunset Lake Tour: A spectacular way to unwind into the evening, this 1.5-hour boat tour is a serene experience. This tour is focused on drinking in nature and enjoying the peace of this national park. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch a Bald Eagle grabbing its dinner or river otters playing near the shoreline. Please note, the Sunset Lake Tour is only available during the summer.

Around 8:30 pm, games or reading at the fireplace

Following your boat tour, head back into the lodge and cozy up to the fire. The fireplace has plenty of seating nearby to relax, with board games and a big chessboard to pass time. If you’re not much of a game person, bring down a book and relax before heading off to bed. 

Views along the Rainforest Tour.

Saturday: 

Around 8:00 am, have breakfast: head back down to the Roosevelt Dining Room and enjoy a Lake Quinault omelet (we recommend the Roasted Local Mushrooms with Sautéed Spinach and Goat Cheese!) to start your day off right.

Around 9:30 am, head to your Lake Quinault Rainforest Tour:  Following breakfast, meet at the lobby at 9:30 am. Be sure to pack a jacket — highs are in the lower 70s in July and August, but otherwise, remain temperate and cool (think 50s and 60s during the day, sometimes dipping into the 40s). It is also a rainforest, so be sure to have appropriate clothing to stay dry. This tour is a 4-hour experience taking place in a 14-passenger Tour Coach, leading you through the temperate rainforest. Experienced guides will cover the history of the lodge, the local area, and the history of the Quinault Indian Nation. You’ll also get close and personal to the most breathtaking views, local animals, with plenty of opportunities for photographs.

Around 1:30 pm, grab something to eat if you haven’t already: Of course the Roosevelt Dining Room offers lunch, but if you’d like to venture to new places you can check out Dino’s Pizza and Grille just outside of town or Quinault Mercantile just down the road from the lodge. 

Around 3:00 pm, head for an afternoon hike/stroll: After all of that sitting on your tour, it will feel nice to stretch your legs. Lake Quinault boasts some of the best hikes in Olympic National Park and has trails for every adventurer. For the casual stroll, try Quinault Rain Forest Nature Trail which is a 0.9-mile loop, including a self-guided tour explaining the ecosystem. For a more challenging hike, try Quinault Trail Loop, which is a 3.5-mile loop sweeping across the lake waterfront and looping through the forest.

Around 7:00 pm, have a rewarding dinner after a long day: Of course there’s so much more to try at the Roosevelt Dining Room, including the Quinault Clam Chowder and the Sasquatch burger. If you want to venture off the property, check out the Salmon House Restaurant, where diners love — you guessed it — the salmon. 

Post dinner wind-down: Head back to Lake Quinault Lodge and cozy up by the fire with a good book. If you’re tuckered out from the day, head on up for a soak in the tub and get to bed!

Relaxing on the shores of Lake Quinault, just down the hill from the main lodge.

Sunday: 

Around 8:00 am, have breakfast: Head back down to the Roosevelt Dining Room. Today you’ll want to have the sweet potato pancakes! 

Post-breakfast to mid-day, head to the lake: If you made reservations to go fishing with a local or tribal guide, head down to the lake. Olympic National Park fishing is highly regulated, so you’ll need a guide to go with you and ensure you’re following all of the proper rules

If fishing wasn’t in your plans for the day, head to the lake for a morning of kayaking or canoeing. This is a great way to spend some time on the lake, soaking in the pristine beauty of the Olympic National Park. 

Check out, but don’t head home just yet: Check out time is 11:00 am, but you don’t have to head home just yet. Before climbing back in your car to return to the modern world, take a short detour to the world’s largest spruce tree. Located just down South Shore Drive, you can easily drive just past the Salmon House Restaurant or take a 25-minute stroll to the trailhead. A sign will call out the trail leading to the cedar tree. Take some time to sit under this 1,000-year-old  spruce tree and think about how much this old tree has seen. 

Take one last look at the lake and head home: Take a deep breath of that rain forest air, and resolve to not look at email the very first second you get back into reception. 

Lake Quinault Lodge — “a grand lakeside lodge suspended in time.”

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